Bowl games should prove exciting

This years upcoming Bowl game match-ups have to be the most controversial. Despite their one loss to Stanford 49-42 on October 20th, the Oregon Ducks won't be making the trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena due to the calculating of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) formula.
   Why should Oregon be the team to square off against the Miami Hurricanes? First off they have just one loss and they won their conference title (PAC-10), where as Nebraska's one loss came from a 62-36 thumping by Colorado.
   How should this problem be solved? PLAYOFF. It doesn't matter how many teams you want to put in it, though I would prefer eight, just eliminate all the time in between the end of the regular season and the beginning of the Bowl series and use that time for playoff weeks.
   Though this may or may not happen I've come up with my own predictions for upcoming top four Bowl games and how they match up against eachother.
   TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL (Jan. 1st, 1:30 p.m.)
   Oregon (10-1) vs. Colorado (10-2)

   If Nebraska was to knock off Miami in the Rose Bowl then in my opinion the winner of this game should be named co-champs along with the Cornhuskers. It's obvious the Ducks were shafted in their quest for a national title and that's all because of the 49-42 loss to Stanford earlier in the season. What about Colorado? Yeah they did beat Nebraska so shouldn't they get a shot at Miami? The BCS does have it's bad points but overall it is a good system if you're not going to go with a playoff.
   Colorado QB Bobby Pesavento has been on fire here of late including wins over Nebraska and Texas. Oregon though has the total package and doesn't rely on just one guy to carry the team. Players like Joey Harrington who passed for 2,414 yards, 23 touchdown strikes and only five interceptions and Onterrio Smith (1,007 yds. rushing) along with Maurice Morris (960 yds. rushing) make for a strong running game.
   Prediction: Oregon, 31-17
   FLORIDA CITRUS BOWL (Jan. 1st 1:00 p.m.)
   Michigan (8-3) vs. Tennessee (10-2)
  
Despite losing to LSU in the SEC Championship game, the Tennessee Volunteers have managed to make a respectable Bowl game in the upcoming Florida Citrus Bowl.
   Michigan on the other hand missed out on getting a bid for a major bowl bid when they lost to Ohio State 26-20 in the last game of the regular season.
  
This will be the first time these two teams have ever met on the football field as both teams bring high expectations to Orlando on New Years Day.
   The key in this game will be turnovers. If Tennessee turns the ball over like they did against LSU then the Wolverines will have a field day, but if Tennessee can stop John Navarre's passing game then the Volunteers will roll to a win.
   The only way Michigan has a chance of beating Tennessee is stopping running back Travis Stephens who has compiled 1,464 yards rushing this season.
   They will also need to throw the ball to wide receiver Marquise Walker, who led the Big Ten in receptions with 81, in order to get the ball moving on offense.
   Overall I like Tennessee's chances in this one but don't expect them to run over Michigan.
   Prediction: Tennessee, 24-20
   NOKIA SUGAR BOWL (Jan. 1st, 8:30 p.m.)
   Illinois (10-1) vs. LSU (9-3)
  
Though they knocked off Tennessee in the SEC Championship the Tigers will have their work cut out for them as they take on Big Ten Champion Illinois in the Sugar Bowl.
  
Despite the injury still plaguing him during the game against the Volunteers, LSU quarterback Rohan Davey will be the start for the Tigers.
   Unless LSU's defense steps up like they did against Tennessee, Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner (led the Big Ten in passing with 2,994 yards passing) and his leading receiver Brandon Lloyd (1,006 yds. receiving) will hook up as much as they want to.
   Illinois has won their last seven games over quality conference opponents including Ohio State and Northwestern to close out the regular season at 10-1.
   Prediction: Illinois, 27-17
   FEDEX ORANGE BOWL (Jan. 2nd, 8:00 p.m.)
   Maryland (10-1) vs. Florida (9-2)
  
Another classic ACC and SEC battle is what this game will be as both squads are well evenly matched-up with Florida having a slight advantage.
   What is the advantage for the Gators? Rex Grossman. Averaging a little over 400 yards passing per game, Grossman was a runner-up in this year's Heisman trophy race and a total of 55 touchdown passes in his first two seasons (most in NCAA history).
   Maryland running back Bruce Perry will be the key for the Terrapins and their quest for a Bowl win as he looks to add to his total of 1,242 yards rushing on the season.
   But the Gators are anxious to get back on the field and take out some frustration on Maryland after losing to Tennessee and costing them a shot at the National Championship.
   Prediction: Florida, 38-24
   AT&T ROSE BOWL (Jan. 3rd, 8:00 p.m.)
   Miami (11-0) vs. Nebraska (11-1)
  
This one is for all of the marbles. After all of the hype and controversy surrounding the formula of the BCS, it's come down to the Miami Hurricanes and Nebraska Cornhuskers in this year's National Championship game.
   Despite losing to Colorado in earlier in the season, the Cornhuskers are the only team in my opinion that have a legitimate shot at knocking off the Hurricanes.
   With an overpowering offensive line and a Heisman trophy winner at quarterback, Nebraska's running game will be what Miami needs to defend but if they concentrate too much on that, Eric Crouch of Nebraska could surprise them with the deep ball to one of his top two receivers in Wilson Thomas and Tracey Wistrom.
   Another key for the Cornhuskers is runningback Dahhran Diedrick. Being in the shadow of Crouch for most of the season, Diedrick has been known to break away for big plays so expect them to go to him quite a bit.
   For Miami there has also been a player who hasn't been in the spotlight due to the numbers that his teammate Ken Dorsey has been putting up. I'm talking about runningback Clinton Portis, who rushed for 1200 yards 220 carries.
   Not to take anything away from Dorsey who has come up big for Miami with 2,667 yards passing and 23 touchdown passes, but the Cornhusker secondary is solid so they will have to go to Portis in order to move the ball down the field.
   The key in this game I think will be special teams. Whichever team makes the fewest mistakes on special teams will come out the winner. Blocked punts, missed extra points and bad snaps are just some things that can turn things around and that may be the difference in this matchup.
   I'm going to have to go with Nebraska in this one due to the fact that in each aspect of the game they are well rounded team. Not taking away anything from Miami because they are a great team, but the Cornhuskers I believe have the edge.
   Prediction: Nebraska, 31-27